26 September 2016
The 15th Colloquium on HIV and Hepatise has officially been launched in Antananarivo, Madagascar. The event which brings together seven countries of the Indian Ocean will take place between the 26th to the 28th of September. The event is being held under the theme, “Access to preventive services, treatment and support for HIV and Hepatitis in the Indian Ocean: Realities and Challenges in ending the spread of infections.”
The launching of the colloquium took place this morning by the President of Madagascar, His Excellency Hery Rajaonarimampianina. The President also had the honour of lighting of the candle in remembrance of people who lost their battle with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.
Addressing representatives of all member countries as well as partners and stakeholders, the Malagasy President stated that it is through coorporation and action that governments of Indian Ocean countries can attain the 2030 target of ending the AIDS epidemic. The President also recognised the works being undertaken by civil society organisations regionally and reiterated on the importance of supporting these organisations in the works that they do. In doing so, he said, the region would accelerate towards winning the battle against HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.
His Excellency Hery Rajaonarimampianina, acknowledged that the region needs to adopt an innovative strategy through concrete action in the fight against HIIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.
The Seychelles delegation at the colloquium comprises of members from civil society as well as representatives from the Ministry of Health
From the civil society sector, two local associations are attending, alongside the civil society platform, Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS). The associations are HIV & AIDS Support Organisation (HASO) and Alliance of Solidarity for the Family (ASFF). The two organisations have HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis integrated within their prevention and detection programmes as well as providing the necessary support. Representatives from the two associations therefore, have a lot of information to share with fellow Civil Society Organisations and a lot learn.
As the platform, CEPS has led the civil society sector in conducting the ‘Test & Treat’ programme in two districts of Mahe in 2015. The platform is a partner of UNAIDS, a partnership renewed in June this year, during the visit of UNAIDS Regional Director visits CEPS Dr Salvatore Niyonzima.
The HIV and Hepatitis colloquium takes place every year. The countries of the Indian Ocean takes turn hosting this event. The colloquium is an opportunity for members of civil society and medical professionals to link up with others in the region. The colloquium is an opportunity for learning of new medical practices and research, exchange of information and ideas. The colloquium is the opportunity for partners and stakeholders to discuss the way forward in the fight against HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.